Archive for October, 2008

Huge Comedy Weekend

There is much to be excited about next weekend. First on that list is that my mother will be in town. Naturally I want to show her the best time that the DC area can offer. So without further adieu, our comedy destinations:

ROBIN WILLIAMS @ THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Friday, October 17, 2008 – 9:30pm

This event is sold out, and you will find that tickets are not available anywhere. You won’t even be able to find them on sites like eBay, StubHub, and Craigslist. Fortunately there are two other shows coming up in the area as part of his Weapons of Mass Destruction Tour. I highly recommend trying to get tickets to his show at the Landmark Theater in Richmond, VA on Thursday the 16th, and to his show at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore, MD on Thursday the 23rd. For those of you who have not yet seen Williams stand-up, do yourself a favor and check out this Youtube clip.

LEWIS BLACK: LET THEM EAT CAKE @ PATRIOT CENTER, FAIRFAX, VA

Saturday, October 18, 2008 – 8:00pm

This event is not sold out, so GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! Though Lewis is becoming increasingly well-known through his work on Comedy Central, it is important to get a sample of his work if you haven’t been exposed to him before. Try this Youtube clip… and this one. He is very political, and very angry. It’s a wildly entertaining combination. The best part is that the tickets are only $30 each- it’s a huge bargain compared to some of the other comics *cough Dane Cook cough*. It is also important to note that Lewis Black has no other events scheduled in this area well into 2009, so catch him now.

Adams Morgan – DC’s Gotham City?

In regards to the title of this post- Gotham City was the first thing I thought of when I thought of a place with a lot of crime. Thanks to Domino’s Pizza for characterizing the city as such in those Dark Knight commercials.

Ok so any who Fritz Hahn over at the Washington Post just wrote about the rising crime in the popular night time destination. Reading the post made me connect the dots on a lot of stories I’ve heard in the local news. Fellow bloggers are also taking notice.

Hahn makes a really good point that I wanted to emphasize- it appears that a lot of the incidents are happening not on the heavily traveled 18th and Columbia streets- but the shady side streets that surround the area. It only makes sense, unless you are Pacman Jones, there probably won’t be anything happening around bouncers, secruity, and crowds of drunken people. Now I meant robberies when I write this- I’m sure lots of things are happening around drunk people, especially in Adams Morgan.

Adams Morgan has never been known for its saftey record- but I’m not saying stay away from the place as we all begin the long Columbus Day weekend. I’m just saying use your head and common sense and be safe if you do decided to walk down 18th street this weekend.

Comedy Central’s Greg Giraldo In DC This Weekend

Famous for his work on Comedy Central’s Root of All Evil, and roaster of Bob Saget, Flavor Flav, William Shatner, Pamela Anderson, and Jeff Foxworthy, Greg Giraldo takes his stand-up talent to DC this weekend for five shows at renowned comedy club DC Improv. I really wish I could make it- this guy is excellent.

Tickets range from $17-$20 depending on the show, and there is a two item minimum for everyone in the showroom. I recommend dining there. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night tickets are available here. For a sample of Giraldo, check out this Youtube clip. And please let me know how the show is.

Ben Folds At Constitution Hall

jrspeaks/Flickr

jrspeaks/Flickr

I don’t go to many concerts.

When it comes to paying for concert tickets I mostly stick with my favorite artists: Dave Matthews Band, Guster, and Ben Folds. I recently saw the latter at Constitution Hall. Now it’s not that I’m not open to checking out new music or artists- it’s just that when I go to a live show, I appreciate knowing at least some of the material on display.

Sitting down at the show I expected to hear some new and unfamiliar material- but I didn’t expect an entire show of unknown songs. Folds played all relatively unknown material; waiting til the “encore” to play a few familiar tunes.

After the show I could tell that the general reaction from the audience was mixed. Some appreciated to hear the new material that will end up in Fold’s newest album (which was not released yet at the time of the show.) Others were angry they didn’t get to hear familiar songs like “Brick”, “Army”, and “Rocking The Suburbs.”

I identify myself with the haters.

Now I enjoyed listening to the new songs and I will try and recognize a few when I buy the new album, however I would of enjoyed singing along to some songs I knew- which is something I do at all the DMB and Guster shows I attend.

Josh Eiserike at Inside Nova attempts to defend the show by brining to attention how terrible a concert at Constitution Hall is:

Constitution Hall has to be one of the worst places in D.C. to see a rock concert. It’s a seated venue, which pretty much sucks all the energy out of the room. Folds show are best when everyone is packed like sardines, singing along and feeding off the energy on stage. Seats are for the National Symphony Orchestra, not a guy who plays piano with his stool.

I strongly agree that the venue wasn’t that great- my date couldn’t resist to the urge to dance and wasn’t used to being restrained to a seat. She spent a lot of the concert dancing in the aisle, attracting the attention of other patrons and security. So if you want to know who brought the weird girl that was the only one dancing at the show- that was me.

Constitution Hall is probably not the best place to see a show but I still have to put some of the blame on Ben Folds- he could of mixed the material up a little better. Perhaps play more of the crowd favorites in between new material. However as a fan of Ben Folds I will not jeer at him like others might have that night- I am a fan of his music, not just his hit songs.

The Great Washington Nationals Overhaul: 08-09

“Congratulations to the Washington Nationals for not being the first to lose 100 games this year.” Those are the paraphrased words that can be found in in my colleague Patrick’s recent season wrapup for the Nats. Now the team is faced with an important off-season during which they will have to rebuild. There are some important things I’d like to note about the coming off-season. Please feel free to weigh in.

  • The Nationals MUST re-sign Odalis Perez (SP). Though he did not win as many games as was expected (7-12), he is cheap, and most importantly he wants to be here. Not many clubs in the situation of the Nationals can boast a veteran pitcher who wants to stay despite the lack of contention. His influence on young pitchers has been phenomenal. Re-sign him now!
  • The Nats must let go of Aaron Boone. As a recent transplant from the New York area, I can sympathize with Boone. He gave me, along with millions of others, one of baseball’s greatest moments. But it is difficult to ignore the fact that he gets hurt an awful lot, and does not regularly make it through the season. His veteran influence will be missed, but there are others who can fill his shoes.
  • First draft pick this year goes to the Washington Nationals. Think about how similar the Nats of today are to the Devil Rays of the not-so-distant past. The youth movement is alive and well in DC.
  • A look at the Nationals depth chart reveals a strong set of position players, especially when you consider what guys like Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes, Emilio Bonifacio, Ryan Zimmerman, and even Nick Johnson will contribute in the near future- they are headed into their prime. There are several faces that need to go, though I’m not sure it will happen in this off-season. Outfielders Willie Harris and Ryan Langerhans are heading into their thirties, and neither have made the transition to the major leagues. The Red Sox ruined Wily Mo Pena by benching him for two years, and he doesn’t fit in DC anyway. Dmitri Young is (unfortunately) locked in through next season, but Nick Johnson is the present and the future. Young’s career is in a nose-dive.
  • Pitching is a much more difficult scenario. Though Perez should stay, he is not an ace. Tim Redding is washed up, and he must go. The rest of the staff is very young, and very under-prepared. It is likely that many of them would only be getting spot starts on just about any other major league team. But keep them, and keep them in the majors. They will mature as players, and some may become exceptional. In the meantime, sign two front end pitchers- not necessarily CC Sabathia type aces, but winners.
  • I have faith in the Nationals bullpen. They have been shaky, but not horrible as a whole, and the combo of Chad Cordero and Joel Hanrahan promises to be impressive in years to come.
  • So here’s my free-agent shopping list for the Washington Nationals this year:
  1. Odalis Perez (SP): Resign him.
  2. Ivan Rodriguez (C): He is not needed by the Yankees anymore since Jorge Posada will be back. Though Pudge is experiencing a downturn in career numbers, he has a tremendous talent for working with the young pitchers who make up the vast majority of the Nationals staff. He will contribute by getting on base, and he has always performed best on teams outside of the spotlight. He will also come at a bargain price after his mediocre performance in Pinstripes.
  3. Adam Dunn (LF): I rarely disagree with Tim Dierkes, but I simply do not believe the Nationals are at the beginning of a “long rebuilding process.” I think that they are nearing the end of one. Nats GM Jim Bowden likes Dunn (they were both Reds at one point) and wants to inject the team with power. That is exactly what the Nationals need. Dunn will drive in a ton of runs, create the kind of adrenaline and fan involvement that only a home-run hitter can, and he will help the Nationals grow into its big market. I don’t really know what there is not to like about Dunn in DC.
  4. Freddy Garcia (SP): Now is the perfect time for a club like the Nats to make a move on Garcia. He recently recovered from an injury and pitched fairly well for the Tigers in three games. He will be a major bargain given his time on the DL, but there will be teams after him, especially Detroit. If the Nationals make a bold move and outbid the bargain-hunters, promising Garcia the ace slot, he can be won. Remember, this is a guy with a world series ring who has won between 14 and 18 games five times. Go get him!
  5. Oliver Perez (SP): He has not yet mastered consistency, but he is still young- young enough to live up to the tremendous potential that this 180 strikeout season represents, but also old enough to help guide the younger pitchers. Perez will thrive where he can be a leader, as well as a student. He will also have a lot to learn if the Nationals can manage to pair him up with Pudge Rodriguez.

There are very few people who are willing to watch an atrocious baseball team. The Rays, Nats, and Royals can all attest to that. But Washington DC has the potential to be a massive market, particularly with the ease of travel that the Metro system offers. All that is required is some wise money spent along with continuous nurturing of the phenomenal youth movement taking place in the Nationals organization.

And in case anyone is interested, my prediction is Red Sox vs. Dodgers, Dodgers in 6.

Happy Birthday Madame Tussauds!

A year ago I was excited to see that there would be a Madame Tussauds in Washington DC, now a year later the wax museum is celebrating it’s 1-year birthday. According to the Going Out Gurus you can visit museum for only $1 (which is a whole lot cheaper than the standard $20 ticket price.)

There is a catch however- you have to sing happy birthday to the museum.

Call me spoiled from all of DC’s free museums but I am not a big fan of the expensive prices of some of the other museums here and I will definitely take advantage of this deal while it lasts (it ends Saturday.)

Now time to find someone that can actually go out during the museum’s tourist (but not local resident) friendly hours.

Live Blog: 2nd Presidential Debate

Well tonight is the 2nd Presidential Debate at Belmont University. I know the a lot of us in DC will be watching and tonight I will try and blog live from DC Metblogs during the debates- providing the “joe six-pack” view. Maybe I’ll even crack open a six-pack; I’m sure good amount of viewers will have their drinking game sheets in hand.

If things go well I’ll be back before the debates and I encourage those to keep DC Metblogs up during the debates and feel free to comment away during the debates!

8:24 PM: Hi everyone (or maybe just myself)! I just emptied my bladder, grabbed a slice of pie, and I’m

Courtesy CNN

settled down to watch this debate. I’ll be watching the feed from CNN tonight- I don’t know what people think of their use (or overuse) of timers, graphs, and polls. I could definitely feel overwhelmed with information with all that junk up there. However I love it.

Wolf Blitzer just said Al Gore is in the house and so is John King with the magic wall. Who knew that in 2008 we would be analyzing the news using a “magic wall”?

8:39 PM: I won’t be some of the few out there in DC drinking along with the debates but I did decided to track a couple of buzzwords: “Maverick”, “Change”, “Main Street”, and my personal favorite “voted with bush 90% of the time.”

8:50 PM: 10 minutes to go! Listening to talk on the format of tonight’s debate- it will be a town hall format where the candidates will be talking to an audience of undecided voters. Tom Brokaw will moderate and questions will be selected from the audience as well as e-mails that Brokaw selected before hand. CNN just reported that there were over 6 million thousand questions submitted. I didn’t hear that they were looking for questions.

9:00 PM: Here we go, 90 minutes of fierce talking point delivery!

See the rest of the night’s live blog underneath the more tag…

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Coming home

As G. and I drove back into DC late on Sunday night, I commented that “there’s nothing like a weekend in New York City to make you feel like you live in a backwater town.”  The lack of cars! The empty sidewalks!  The open sky!  DC was so… peaceful after the jam-packed-24-hour-ness of NYC.

Okay, so their Chinatown trumps ours.  But a brief comparison between the Union Square Farmer’s Market and the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market revealed similar pricing for at least the basics we looked over.  And we didn’t see anything there we don’t get here, so perhaps our lower population density isn’t always a disadvantage.

An Open Letter of Thanks To Random Girl at the Naylor Rd. Station (and Metro too)

Manu Script

image found here.

Dear Metblog readers, indulge me in a brief personal story and the use of this forum to say thank you to someone.  Hopefully you’ll just find it a heartwarming little story about how good people can be in our area.  

Dear Random Girl who eventually got off at the Naylor Rd. Station:

Thank you for finding my Iphone.  Although I’ve never met you or saw you or know anything about you-I appreciate your finding my Iphone.

See, I was heading home to drop off the comic books I had bought at SPX and to get changed to go out for the evening.  In my fervor of comic book delightedness I must have only half-heartedly put my phone into my sweatshirt hoodie pocket after checking it (like I always do) coming over the river on the yellow line bridge.  Questions of whether to go all the way to Clarendon or not coupled with handfuls of newly signed books must have distracted me as I left my train at Crystal City because it wasn’t until I got outside and reached for my phone again that I realized it was gone. 

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Buffalo Wing Battle-Minus the Buffalo

This past weekend (very last minute or I would have altered alerted you dear MetBlog readers) I found myself at the first ever Buffalo Battle-aka the “War of the Wings.”  The scoop?  J. Paul’s Chef Darrell “Big Wing” Hughes faced off against Old Glory’s Chef Richard “The Pit Master” Brooks in a four round cook off to see just who has the better wings.  For the price of admission spectators got two complimentary drinks and (wait for it) all the wings you could eat.  Proceeds went to the very worthy cause of the DC Central Kitchen.

As a native Western New Yorker, both hungry for wings and willing to donate to a good cause, I felt uniquely qualified to show up at this event and cast my own judgment on these so called “Buffalo Wings.”  Yes much like the native of Philly who is fond of saying “that’s not a real cheese steak”, the Chicago transplant who says “ugh! you call this pizza?” and the New York City tourist that can’t wait to tell you just how much “better the <fill in just about anything> is in New York”-I too become a food snob when wings are brought into the mix.   Especially when someone calls them “Buffalo Wings.”   

So on this, the alleged anniversary of the Buffalo Wing (Happy 44th!) allow me to share my thoughts with you:

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